"Without the existence of the Soul King, the Soul Society would split. The "Soul King" is the "lynchpin". If the lynchpin is lost, then it will all easily crumble."
|Occupation||Ruler of Soul Society|
|Partner||Tsuyuri Kawahiru (concubine)|
|Signature Skill||Complete Order|
- "The man who sits on his throne, watching over the forlorn battlefields of Soul Society." - Seireitou-shishō
The Soul King (霊王, Reiō; literally "King of Souls") is a Kami whose rare existence as a being of complete order is what allows him to serve as the lynchpin that holds all of existence together. His sole purpose is to regulate the flow of souls into and out of Soul Society and keep the flow stable. In a time when spirits were chaotically flowing between worlds and imbalance reigned supreme, it was the King who was established as the channel, or bridge, that would guide souls in the proper orderly path between worlds. It is this order brought to a world of chaos that allowed peace to be possible. Without the Soul King, the balance is lost and everything that is linked to Soul Society or made in it, as well as the Dangai, Hueco Mundo and the Human World will fall apart. He is heralded as the highest authority in all of the Soul Society, whose existence in Soul Society is as symbolic as it is absolute, while residing in Reiōkyū. The King of Souls is closely guarded and protected by the Royal Guard.
In accordance with the discussion held between Seireitou Kawahiru and Raian Getsueikirite, the Hōgyoku was Sōsuke Aizen's attempt at recreating the existence of the Soul King by inventing an object that could be composed entirely of pure and refined Chaos properly ordered into subjugation. Once he managed to create this sphere, he would need to sacrifice himself to it in a fusion in which he would become a being similar to the King himself. However, his evolution was not yet complete and it was far too premature for him to replace the King as he was, for if Aizen had completed his evolution, Ichigo Kurosaki would not have been able to defeat himself whatsoever.
According to a conversation between Sōsuke Aizen and Kisuke Urahara, the Spirit King is detailed as both a "thing" and "it". Urahara details that without the Spirit King's existence, Soul Society would be rent asunder. He is the "lynchpin". If the lynchpin is lost, then the world would simply crumble away and that is the way of the world. It's unclear what the Spirit King actually does, other than he has a specific system of "specialty duties" that are actively carried out. The duties apparently require a very high level of competency or skill of some sort. The Spirit King and the Royal Family are apparently completely indifferent to governing Soul Society; the Spirit King has given the full control of government of Soul Society to Central 46, thus being uninvolved with the day-to-day affairs of Soul Society.
The Spirit King appears to be humanoid in physique, with slicked back dark hair, and unusual eyes. He also has very thin eyebrows.
- "Quite the opposite, actually. There was no one among the gods who valued... and loved humanity more than the Soul King."
- —Ichibē Hyōsube
It is said that the Soul King was once a functioning deity, complete in both mind and body (as opposed to his current state), sent by the highest heavens to pacify a world bereft with order, with chaos running amuck. Even the deities of the land, once tasked with pacifying the land, could only keep these forces of chaos at bay long enough. Life could not truly be sustained in such a world. In his descent, the deity assumed sovereign over the world, acting out the will of the heavens in finally pacifying the chaotic world. However, even he found himself incapable of doing so, with the land still at the mercy of all manner of disorder.
According to Ichibē Hyōsube, there was none that loved humans more than the Soul King. While the deities worried about the chaos that ravaged the middle realm, the Soul King saw the fear of death that lived in the hearts of every mortal, and he was sympathetic to their plight. Their destiny was to live in a world coated in darkness and to die, only to go to the land of the dead, a world that embodied chaos itself. In both life and death, they would suffer, and residing among them, he could sympathize with them. The King connected with them. Above all else, he wanted to find a way to assuage the fear of death in humanity in his pursuit to pacify the world bereft of order.
He had eventually reached a conclusion. In order to truly pacify Ashihara no Nakatsukuni, he would need to once more separate the elements, just as when creation itself first occurred with yin and yang separating. With the power granted to him, the Soul King was able to split the world into several different realms. His belief was that the disorder wrought upon the world was due to the conflict of different elements that composed the world. Just as creation occurred, with the light and dark particles, different as they were, separated in order to produce order in an instance of chaos, different realms were created out of the world in order to produce the same result. As such, life sprung anew, as human beings began to develop. The world where they would be housed was to be simply, the Human World.
In order to protect the humans he had come to adore, he shelved the chaos that ravaged the world and invited humans to death toward a separate dimension, which would be come to be known as Hueco Mundo; the realm of the Hollows. He also managed to determine a solution for the land deities that opposed the Soul King's descent into the middle world, providing for them a world that served a dual purpose: one, it was a world that would allow them to reside as they pleased without interfering with the human world, and two, the Soul King wanted to provide humans with a paradise that followed death. That dimension would come to house the Soul Society, the place where souls could be guided after their deaths, so long as they lived a life with purity and goodness (the wicked would still be sent to Hell). He forged a permanent pathway between the human world and the dimension housing Soul Society, which came to be known as the parsing world, where souls were led down after death. Souls that would pass on from their mortal bodies were to be brought to the Soul Society by the Balancers, the ones that maintained the flow of souls between the two realms. It is hence that they would later be known as Shinigami, the "gods of death". Souls were promised a better life in the Soul Society, a self-acclaimed paradise, and in turn, souls that died there would be reincarnated in the Human World. This flow of souls was to be regulated by the Soul King and his will was carried out by his followers, the Balancers-turned-Shinigami. Thus, order and peace could reign supreme.
With the divine tools that the Soul King carried with him in his descent, he would proceed to secure the order he helped to bestow upon the world. With the Kusanagi, his followers were able to guide souls in and out of the Soul Society, which eventually gave rise to the Zanpakutō. The Yasakani no Magatama was used to crystallize the Soul King, permanently linking him to the realms he created so that he could ensure their existence, which is why he is referred to as the lynchpin of the worlds. The third tool, Yata no Kagami, would remain in the Soul King's palace.
Soul King's Children
Hatred of the King
- "The path has now closed, Ichigo. The path to a world without fear. The Human World, Soul Society, Hueco Mundo. They belong together as one. They should have been brought together, that life and death may mingle as one. But now that path exists no longer. All thanks to you, Ichigo. How disappointing. Because of you, life and death will not lose their form. All living things will continue to live their lives in fear of death... for all eternity."
- —Yhwach's final words.
Powers & Abilities
Soul Regulation: The Soul King's sole purpose is to regulate the flow of souls in and out of Soul Society. Without his existence, all known dimensions connected to Soul Society will begin crumbling into nonexistence.
Ōken Bestowment: Through some unknown mean, the Spirit King is capable of granting those whom he chooses as members of the Royal Guard with the Ōken, a special tool that allows one to enter the Reiōkyū dimension whenever they wish. This unique Reijutsu literally turns the bones of those into the Ōken. It appears that Sōsuke Aizen was attempting to replicate this power through sacrificing the spiritual enriched zone as well as over a hundred thousand souls.
Precognition: Like his sons, Yhwach and Kamui Kawahiru, the Soul King has the ability to see into the future. Yhwach theorizes that the Soul King has seen all the events of the Quincy Blood War, up to and including him invading the Soul King Palace.
Various parts of the Soul King are separate or have been separated from the main body. These parts possibly by virtue of being parts of the Soul King or possibly by design have attained sentience and their own independent personalities and abilities. Even so, they carry the essence of the Soul King, and while some follow the King's will, others choose to go against it and act upon their own desires.
- Mimihagi: The Soul King's "right arm".
- Pernida Parnkgjas: The Soul King's "left arm".
- Gerard Valkyrie: The Soul King's "heart".
- Kashima Sakagami: The Soul King's "voice".